Herb-infused desserts may sound weird at first, but chefs have been incorporating herbs into sweet treats for ages. In fact, in ancient Rome, Apicius created a honey-nut recipe made with spiced pepper, wine, and rue — a bitter herb that was once used in a variety of recipes and medical purposes.
Today, many Italians use rue to make Grappa, a grape-based (alcoholic) drink. Bay leaves and cloves are also considered a standard ingredient in fruit compotes in the Veneto region of Italy.
“We would thread [the] figs on strings with a bay leaf between them — a crown of figs and laurel,” Veneto-native and Felidia Ristorante owner Lidia Bastianich told the LA Times. “We’d hang this from the ceiling in the fall and enjoy dried figs all winter long.”
Combining fruit and fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, thyme, chamomile, and lavender may come as a surprise, but we’ve come up 15 different treats, including Rosemary-Infused Shortbread and Lavender Crème Brûlée that’ll pair together perfectly. Watch the video below for more herb-centric ways to upgrade your desserts.